Try something new: food fair lets internationals share home

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Try something new: food fair lets internationals share home

Pujan Dahal

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food fair asianAbu Bakar Siddique participated in the International Food Fair for the first time last week as a way to spread the word about the Muslim Students Association (MSA) through various Islamic foods. The MSA presented more than 10 different food items from Bangladesh, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia at the fair.

Siddique said that the best way to reach a person’s heart is through cultural exchange.

“The International Food Fair was the best platform to reach out to a mass as the participation was huge and the message of MSA would be imprinted in heart through their exquisite food culture,” he said.

Students and faculty gathered at the fair in the SUB ballrooms last Wednesday to get a taste of popular cuisine from all different corners of the world. The two-hour-long event featured representa
tives from 20 different countries.

Attendees paid 50 cents a ticket and then used the tickets to buy food from the different tables. After each attendee had their fill, they voted for whichever country’s or organization’s table they thought to be the best.

At the end of the fair, Siddique and his teammates jumped for joy as the MSA was declared the winner of the fair.

Food fair omie

A TASTE OF HOME: Khairul Omie of Bangladesh smiles while serving food at the International Food Fair Wednesday in the SUB Ballrooms.

For Siddique, the victory was even sweeter because he is new to cooking. It was never a part of his routine back in his home country of Bangladesh. To prepare for the fair, he had to video call his mother for cooking lessons. Siddique, a PhD student in pharmacy, has a very busy study and research schedule, yet he now regularly takes time to cook.

Siddique was excited to participate because he knows the power of food.

“Food adds happiness in the life of people. Taste has the power to change the mood,” Siddique said.

For Siddique, the basic ingredients of Islamic food taste like home. The meat, fish, rice and bread used in Siddique’s cooking is much different than American food, he says. For the food fair, he made bangla payesh and semai.

“Islamic food consists of a huge blend of authentic spices,” Siddique said.

As the president of the MSA, Siddique is able to represent the entire association when he says that they are highly proud of their victory.

“We are really thankful to all the people who liked our food and voted for us and ULM for providing us a platform to represent our food,” Siddique said.